The One Word I’ll Never Say Again …
Here’s one thing I’ve learned in my time working with live entertainment marketers and venues.
Never say “algorithm.”
It’s an ugly word. It sounds like “rhythm,” as though we’re going to get down to some funky beats, but it turns out to just be math. … Still, since people seem to use smartphones and laptops and enjoy being able to watch unboxing videos and correct people when they say “your” instead of “you’re,” we are firmly in the Era of the Nerd.
And to me, that’s a good thing! Brainpower does a lot for us on a daily basis, including when it comes to getting more people excited about going out to see your shows.
Way, way back in 2004, Goldstar started using advanced math to try to figure out what our members wanted to see and potentially buy. We’d come up on an interesting problem: so many events that we didn’t know how to select them or order them. We looked around to see what others were doing, which included listing newest events first (logical) and, believe it or not, alphabetical order!
Alphabetical order? We guessed there was a better way to do it, and so we put on our propeller beanies and came up with a system that tried to predict what each person, each Goldstar member would be interested in, based on stuff they’d already done: purchases, clicks, reviews, etc. And then we looked for patterns in what everybody else was doing to see what they liked that the first person might have missed. In other words, what became very standard stuff in the e-commerce world, but which we were the first to bring to live entertainment.
The next step with something like that is testing. Or really, more like a Cage Match to the Death. We split users randomly in groups and saw what happened. And do you know what? Way back in 2004, 20% MORE people who saw the math-powered event listings bought tickets than those in the old system.
Now that was just the start. We’ve changed the system about 6 million times (maybe an exaggeration) since then, but the point is this:
The members who see your event on Goldstar are the ones most likely to be interested in your event.
You’re welcome. 🙂
What’s really great about this for your event is that even if they don’t buy from us, you’re reaching some of the best possible potential buyers that you could possibly reach. I know what you’re thinking … what’s the catch?
Well, there’s no “catch” exactly, but did I mention that this problem arose because we had so many events to sell? We had a lot then and we have a LOT more now, and so the attention of Goldstar members is a valuable thing. The fancy math that picks the best targets for your event does the same thing for every other event, and that means it’s a bit competitive. Hundreds of events in the same area means that you reach a highly qualified audience through us, but you also miss a lot of people who are great potential buyers too.
That’s why we built and launched Boost. Boost takes your event and puts it in emails to more people than you would otherwise reach (and makes it stand out, like the blue event here). You still hit your audience, but Boost allows you to extend that reach and go further into that pool of highly qualified, interested, good looking and intelligent people who would probably buy tickets to your event if only they knew about it.
Boost works a lot like Google AdWords, where you set as much or as little of a budget as you’d like and run your campaign for as long as you like. It’s so easy I once created a Boost campaign by accident. On the other hand, if you want a little walk through of how it works, we’re of course happy to help with that.
Hundreds of Goldstar partners have already used Boost and about 60% of them have done a second or third (or fourth or fifth) Boost campaign, including some of the biggest names in the biz and a long list of small but mighty names. We’ve long gotten the question “How do I get awareness among the Goldstar member base above and beyond what I’m getting right now?” Boost is our answer, and it works really well.
We’re proud of it. It’s one of a kind in the live entertainment business. It puts the power in the hands of the event marketer and reaches the people you really want to reach.
And I promise, I’ll never say “algorithm” again …